Gross Motor Games and Activities

All kids need some time to get the wiggles out.  Maybe they have been working on homework for awhile and their attention is wandering.  Or maybe everyone is cranky and could use some fresh air.  Doing a quick 5 or 10 minute physical activity will put everyone in a good mood.  Especially if you join in the fun.  Here are some gross motor activities to do in your back yard, in the park, or indoors if you have enough space.

  • Color Tag  Shout out a color and have the kids run and touch something that color.  Touching the color means you are safe on base, but if you tag them before they get there then they are “it.”
  • Follow the Leader  The kids get in a line behind you.  You start walking around (or skipping, or hopping, or flapping your arms, etc.), and the kids have to imitate your actions exactly.  Once they get the hang of it, take turns being the leader.
  • Red Light, Green Light  You stand on one side of the yard and they line up on the other side.  Every time you say green light they can run towards you, but when you say red light they have to stop.  If they don’t stop, they go back to the starting line.  This is a great activity to practice listening and bodily control.  Try crawling, skipping, or hopping on green lights.
  • Simon Says  This is another great way to practice listening skills.  For younger kids, say “Simon Says” for everything.  It takes enough concentration to listen and make their body do the actions, without trying to figure out if Simon said it or not.  For older kids, try “Simon says wash the dishes.” and see if you can get some chores done! 🙂
  • Activity Challenge  Older kids love a challenge.  Get a timer and see how long they can stand on one leg.  Or how many jumping jacks they can do in 30 seconds.  Or how fast they can run across the yard.  Write down their time to see if they can improve it next time.
  • Animal Charades  Preschoolers will love acting like their favorite animals and having you guess.  And it’s hilarious to watch mom or dad act like an elephant!
  • On, Under, Beside, Through  Call out directions like “Get UNDER the slide.”  “Sit ON the rock.”  For older kids, give them a sequence of three or four things to do.
  • Jump the Creek  Lay two sticks on the ground a few inches apart.  Ask your child to jump, hop, or leap over them.  Move the stickers farther apart to widen the creek after each jump.
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